Saturday, November 7, 2009

Open Farm Sunday

Last week we went to Open Farm Sunday, sponsored by Cabot Creamery Cooperative, and hosted by a local farm.  Awesome Daughter was not interested in staying too long, until...they offered her complimentary corn chowder and sharp cheddar cheese.  It was somewhat coincidental, as we were talking about making corn chowder for dinner.  VB presents a short tour of the farm.  We had fun.  And, of course, everyone on the tour behaved like a bunch of schoolkids at a petting zoo!

Below:  The old main barn, where we were greeted and fed.

Below 2 photos:  Cows are hungry creatures.  Some of these animals produce enormous amounts of milk each day, others - not so much.  Added up though, they provide us with our daily intake of main dairy products.  They are also very friendly creatures, or at least that's what VB thought.

Below:  This is a mechanical milking machine.  All cows teats are wiped clean with antibacterial wash, milked, then washed clean again, and given a soothing cream so their teats stay nice and soft - something of that nature.  And for cows unable to get into the milking center, say too pregnant, they have portable milking machines!  Wow, and VB thought she was going to see the real McCoy milking procedure (dude sitting on a wooden bucket, hand milking the cow - VB's kinda behind the times on some of this new technological stuff.)

Below:  The milk tank, with magnetic messages about farming and farming in Connecticut.

Below:  One of the messages, which VB highly recommends - buy local.

Below:  The pregnant cows.  Don't they look overly friendly!  That's because (VB found out,) Awesome Daughter was carrying dog treats in her pocket and they totally wanted to be with her!

Below:  This is a calf barn.  These calves are a bit older, and they get transferred here to socialize after being moved from the greenhouse.  The two calves below are not dairy cows.  They will be on your dinner table one of these days.  This farm also sells beef (Angus), and you can order from them (you know like a whole side, a quarter, something like that.)  At this size, they also have their horns taken off, so they don't injure each other.  Apparently, with horns, when they are hungry and pushing through the throng of other cattle, they poke and injure each other inadvertently.  The horn removal prevents that from happening.

Below: Our last stop was at the calf greenhouse.  We saw a calf, just born the day before.  These are calves that are very young, still nursing, and isolated as they have a habit of mistaking each other for their mothers, sucking, and yes, causing injury.  Here (next 3 photos) we have a female calf, who is absolutely smitten with VB's camera strap!

Below: Awesome Daughter pets the female calf.

Below:  You can see her again.  She's the only one standing, waiting for more visitors
 to welcome.

Below:  After our Open Farm visit, we stopped at our local farm stand to buy corn for our chowder.  The stand was closed, but still open for business.  They have a slot in the wooden windows for money.  Here pumpkins are on display so you can gauge the size when you buy one.  There's a sign with prices on the window.  Many farm stands around here are unattended / self serve.

Below 2 photos:  Our corn chowder and grilled sandwiches.

As VB writes this, she's watching Martha Stewart who is focusing on cheese.

And for some fun, A take off on VB's favorite show Mad Men. This is called Milk Men.

Milk Men - A Mad Men Parody

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